or something more …

The last line in a profile. 

We have developed online cues like this to convey our desire without going overboard.  From my experience, polite has never gotten me dates. Sure, I respect the man and hopefully love what he does naked, but I learned early on I had to be the Avis guy, the one who tried harder and didn’t leave anything to chance.

My goal in dating was connection, knowing the man’s fears and hopes, what made him tick and in the process find someone as fucked up as me.  I started each date asking where he grew up. That comes from growing up in the Midwest where we are known for knowing more American geography than folks in other states. Some say it’s because we want to get out; I like to think we’re curious and  are looking for ways to improve our lives with a skewed Calvinist desire to become perfect by overcoming sin.

When I came out in 1972 the next question was “What’s your sign?” Hundreds of men were arriving every month and an army of strangers needed some quick way of knowing who all these other strangers were. We didn’t grow up together, we weren’t related, so we were flying solo and if you knew someone was a Taurus, you pulled out Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs and found out what you could expect on your date. Astrology helped start conversations and gave me a means to study types. Being raised a Unitarian I put more trust in reason, but two of my greatest loves were other Pisces, so there is something to it for me.

Once that was settled, the next step was the joint. I was impressed with the spirituality and pomp my first boyfriend Clay used in clipping buds, crunching them between his thumb and fingers and then rolling them like a Renaissance craftsman.  When I am stoned every vein on his dick stands out, and his stories of childhood reverberate with color and mystery.  Our sex is more intense, and my fantasies take my on incredible trips.

It took a while for me to realize my next step was to start talking about sex in a way that got the other person to make the first move.  I think that was my way of not thinking I was not a whore; I was merely a sensualist.  And then  for me, as a friend said, a date had to include me getting fucked no matter how it started.

The man who brought me out was a leather top, and while he never tried to induct me into the scene I had to pay attention because I wanted to be the perfect gay man.  I read Larry Townsend’s Leatherman’s Handbook and was appalled but spent several agonizing nights trying to visualize being subservient to a stern master. I never got into that mind set, and while it wasn’t the smoothest introduction to being gay, as a trial by fire it put me to the test and toughened me up. In my third month out I happened on the Stud which at that time was further down Folsom Street and run by two men who started it as a cowboy bar until someone introduced them to mescaline, so by the time I found it the place was a party of stoners, amazing gender fuck queens and some of the most beautiful, sorted men in the city. For two years I was there every Saturday night and met men who took me camping in Desolation Wilderness, a weekend doing acid on the Navarro River and one spectacular weekend with the hottest couple in town at the Geysers.

More for me was the unconditional love of the daytime bartender at Toad Hall who was my other half until his death to AIDS in 1994.  He will be the subject of a future entry


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